About

Max Headshot

I am currently a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto, where I am working on a project called “Critique of Conspiracism” under the supervision of Pamela Klassen. I am also teaching a Fall 2021 course called “Religion and Conspiracy Theories” in the University of Waterloo’s Arts First program.

In May 2021 I defended my dissertation in the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University, where I also work occasionally as a sessional instructor. Over the past several years I have taught courses on the discipline of religious studies (Spring 2019 and 2021, syllabus), and on the complex intersections between religion and violence (Fall 2018, syllabus).

My research and teaching are broadly situated in the discipline of Religious Studies, within which I take an interdisciplinary and pluralistic approach to topics in Political Theology and the Philosophy of Religion. I focus on ethical responses to the problem of violence, religious and political uses of time and history, the normative foundations of social critique, select topics in Mennonite Studies, and the problem of conspiratorial thinking in North America. My work is divided into four interrelated projects:

  1. My book Postsecular History: Political Theology and the Politics of Time (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022) examines the theological and political ways that time and history are periodized. 
  2. My dissertation “Ontologies of Violence” (defended in May 2021) traces the problem of violence through the works of Jacques Derrida, Mennonite political theologians, and the work of feminist philosopher of religion Grace M. Jantzen. I am currently revising it for publication.
  3. I have also undertaken a broader project that reconceptualizes Mennonite Studies and Mennonite political theology in interdisciplinary terms, which was most recently featured in my guest-edited special issue of the journal Political Theology (May 2021).
  4. My postdoctoral book project, Critique of Conspiracism, brings my critical work on violence and history to bear on the problems of conspiratorial thinking.

Some of my work remains on academia.edu, and my CV below provides a comprehensive picture of my research trajectory. 

[photo credit: minhal.ca]